Water contract status could lead to rate increase

Water contract status could lead to rate increase

December 4th, 2013 by Kelsie Bowman in Local Regional News

If the town of Signal Mountain doesn't renew its contract with Tennessee American Water Company soon, it could be facing a spike in rates.

At the most recent regularly scheduled town meeting, Tennessee American Water Operations Manager Kevin Rogers went before the Signal Mountain Town Council to request fast action on the matter.

In a followup interview, Rogers explained that Signal Mountain's contract includes a discounted flat rate for the water it purchases. That contract expired in 2011, and since then numerous discussions on renewing the contract have taken place, but no action has been taken by the town, he said.

"At this point [if the contract is not renewed in time] we are not going to be able to continue an offer of the special rate," said Rogers. "We're not trying to increase the rate. If they want to continue with a special discount rate we can do that."

Rogers said he hasn't specified an exact deadline for the town to renew or renegotiate the contract.

"We appreciate the people on Signal Mountain and the customers; we've served them for decades and we'd like to continue that," said Rogers.

Signal Mountain Town Manager Chris Dorsey and Mayor Bill Lusk said they are in the process of reading through and interpreting the contract.

"It's a lengthy contract and we are just reading through it to make sure we understand everything," said Dorsey.

"We will make sure the terms are at least as favorable as we've had in the past," added Lusk.

In reference to the possibility of the town not renewing its contract with Tennessee American Water, Lusk said, "We would look to avoid that situation, but we always want to make sure we keep our options open."

Lusk added that he thinks the process should be completed in the next couple of weeks.